For many corporations, a blog is a critical component of their digital strategies for turning complete strangers into website visitors, and eventually, delighted customers. In Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing report for 2016, 60% of the respondents mentioned that blog content creation was their company’s top priority and this was the second highest ranked response.
While blogs are firmly entrenched in the digital ecosystem for business, they have barely scratched the surface in the digital government space.
Why Local Gov is Late to the Blogging Party
It’s estimated that less than 20% of local governments blog as part of their digital and communication strategy. Until recently, there hasn’t been much momentum from citizens clamoring for a better way to connect with their local government.
With the rise of social media and digital news sources, user expectations have changed and grown to the point of wanting fresh content quickly and easily. To meet these demands, local government leaders must adapt to these continually evolving expectations and begin to think about how to better tell stories that will engage their communities.
Why Local Govs Should Start Blogging
A blog lets you tell your own stories in your own words using a conversational and engaging format – and almost every part of your organization, including administration, elected officials, parks & recreation, library, police, fire and public works, should be leveraging the power of blogging. It also gives you an outlet to inform your community, showcase events, celebrate and share successes, publish public safety reminders, and establish deeper trust in your elected officials and leaders.
Using insights derived from businesses who blog which listed the top reasons to blog, three of their top four reasons to blog apply directly to local government:
1. Increase traffic to your website
While local governments are not usually rated on the level of traffic to their website, blogs will definitely drive traffic to your website. Every new blog post is an indexed page on your website which is another opportunity to appear in the search results when someone is searching for something in your community. Plus, blog posts are easily and readily shared via social media which exposes your government website to increased traffic as well.
2. Establish authority
The best business blogs serve to answer common questions from customers and establish the business as a thought leader. A local government blog can do the same and become the source of authority in your community. Being viewed as an authoritative and trusted source increases the likelihood that users will return to your site and make recommendations to their network.
3. Drive long-term results
As you add new blog posts to your website, the content becomes searchable via search engines and is discoverable for months to come. For example, the Hubspot blog receives 70% of its traffic from posts that were written more than 30 days ago. With more search results available, people will have more opportunities to discover your content and website – and that’s always a good thing.
Connect and Engage with Your Community
Blogging, like writing web content, is a craft that can be learned. If you take the time to learn some best practices, you’ll be well on your way to creating impactful posts. If you’re unsure about where to start, our list of Blogging Best Practices is a useful learning tool that can be referenced again and again as you build out your blog to effectively inform and engage with your community.